Deputy Governor Throws Block of Wood at 4-Year-Old’s Face

The deputy governor of Battambang City threw a block of wood at a 4-year-old girl’s face on Friday after a domestic dispute “stressed him out,” a local official said on Monday, but he will not be prosecuted because he gave the girl’s family $25 and a package of foodstuffs.

Dy Pov was at his home in the city’s Ang village on Friday evening when a group of local children, including the little girl, began playing on a pile of sand near the house, according to Phal Phor, the acting village chief.

“He got very angry with them because, at the time, he was stressed out with his wife, who was drinking wine at his home,” he said. “That’s why he threw the wood out of his house. It hit the girl’s left cheek, ear and head.”

The piece of wood hurled by Mr. Pov was about the size of a man’s hand, the village chief said, and the girl’s injuries were “not severe.”

Mr. Phor said that he and several city police officers, including the commune police chief, had helped mediate compensation discussions between the deputy governor and the girl’s family on Sunday. The family ultimately agreed not to file a complaint in exchange for 100,000 riel (about $25) in cash, two 25-kg bags of rice, two packages of noodles, some drinking water and some medicine.

“The deputy city governor visited her and her family on Monday and they reconciled with each other already,” he said.

However, commune police chief Phan Sovannarith said Mr. Phor’s version of events was false, suggesting that the village chief was “probably drunk” when he spoke to a reporter.

While acknowledging that he had gone to the girl’s house along with the city governor and other officials on Sunday to offer gifts, Mr. Sovannarith said the visit was merely a random act of charity on behalf of the Cambodian Red Cross—which is headed by the prime minister’s wife, Bun Rany —and not an attempt to buy the family off.

“They are a very poor family,” he explained.

The police chief stressed that the deputy governor had not gone to the girl’s house, nor offered the family gifts. He added that police were not investigating the wood-throwing incident because they were never officially appraised of it.

“We were not informed about what happened, meaning that the victim’s side did not file a lawsuit,” he said.

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